Coach K: 2013 Most Valuable Motivator

Featured Article, Fitness, Motivation
on March 1, 2013

Name: Mike “Coach K” Krzyzewski

Claim to fame: The winningest coach in NCAA Division I men’s basketball history, with more than 945 victories, Coach K has served as Duke University’s head men’s basketball coach since 1980. In that time, the Blue Devils have won 4 NCAA championships, played in 11 Final Four tournaments and competed in the NCAA tournament for 17 consecutive years. Coach K also led the U.S. men’s basketball team to the gold medal podium in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics. In 2001, he was named to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.

Favorite workout: Fast walking, recumbent bike and strength training

Vitamins and supplements:  Multivitamin, vitamins C, B12, D and fish oil. “I believe in taking vitamins. I know people say you get enough through food, and I say, ‘You know what? I’m only doing this once,’” Coach K says with a laugh. “I’d rather make sure I’m getting everything I need. I check them out through my team physician and team trainer to make sure I’m taking the right things.”

Motivational trick: Get your own personal coach—it doesn’t have to be someone you pay, just a friend. “My best friend is Mo and if I call him and say, ‘Mo, I’m being lazy today,’ there might be something that he says to me that I can’t say to myself,” he says. “Don’t try to do it alone. Look at yourself as a team that somebody can coach and somebody can motivate.”

Diet staple: Fish. “As I’m getting older I eat a lot more of it,” he says. “Through the London Olympics, for the two months I was coaching the team, I had a pretty good diet of salads, no red meat, only fish and chicken and pasta. That helped me.”

Health philosophy: “You’re responsible for your health. Don’t blame it on anyone else.”

Secret weapon: Prevention. “I believe in physicals every year—people checking you out to make sure that if there is something going on that you nip it in the bud,” he says. “Or if you’re doing something that could lead you down the wrong path that someone tells you before you’re completely down that path.”

Favorite thing about coaching: “The main thing for me overall is being able to develop a relationship with a player and go through a moment with that player.”

Career highlight: Every championship is memorable, says Coach K, but “the Olympics is probably the ultimate honor because that’s against the whole world, and it’s your country and your national anthem. It’s a pretty neat moment in time.”